Vigilant and productive

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THAT’S what Christ urges us to be. (cfr. Mt 24,42-51) “Stay awake,” he said, “For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” These words clearly are an appeal for us to be watchful, vigilant and on guard always. Later on, he said, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?” These words can only imply that we have to productive and faithful to our duties.

To properly motivate us in this regard, let us always be clear about what the real purpose of our life is, for which we have to be vigilant and productive. We should avoid being lulled and trapped in the dynamic of our earthly concerns without relating them to our life’s ultimate goal.

We need to be vigilant always, in good times and in bad times, and most especially in ordinary times which we still would not know whether it would be good or bad. We should never let our guard down.

This is simply because we have enemies to contend with all the times. First of all, it is our own selves, our own weakened flesh that will always lure us to do things against God’s will and against what is truly good for us.

Then we have the world with all its sinful attractions and temptations. And, of course, the devil himself. Never discount him. He’s always around, prowling like a lion looking for someone to devour. (cfr 1 Pt 5,8)

In what may seem to be good times, when things are more or less ok, let us thank God and do our best to make use of all the blessings and good opportunities made available for us.

But let’s not forget that the good things can also occasion dangers for us if we are not careful. We should know where those dangers lie in the good things that we may enjoy at the moment. In that way, we avoid falling into complacency that will practically spoil us, and take away the goodness of the blessings we are enjoying.

And in what may seem to be bad times, let us never forget to look for the one good thing in those situations. There will always be one or two or even more good things on these occasions and turn them into the vehicles for our redemption.

Everyday, we should also be keenly aware that we need to be fruitful and productive. That’s simply because even from the beginning of our creation in Adam and Even, this has always been God’s will for us.

“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it,” (Gen 1,28) God told our first parents, clearly outlining his mandate to them. It’s a mandate that continues to be repeated up to now. Christ himself said as much.

In his parable of the three servants (cfr Mr 25,14-30), a master clearly told each one to trade with the amount given to them. He was happy with the first two who gained as much as was given. But he was mad at the third one who did nothing with the amount given.

We have to realize that God has already given us everything that we need, not only to survive but also to improve our lot that ultimately translates into realizing the fullness of our dignity as image and likeness of God, as children of his.

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